Things move fast for the LHSAA at this time of the year, something the past week illustrates perhaps better than any other. It started with the release of volleyball playoff pairings and ended with Week 10 football games.
In between, the LHSAA lost the arbitration case with quarterback Andrew Robison, who got to start for Hahnville in its win over H.L. Bourgeois on Friday night.
It was a great for Hahnville, the Robisons, coach Nick Saltaformaggio and their supporters. It also was a significant setback for the LHSAA. This story has generated plenty of talk in social media circles, coffee shops and any other place the topic comes up.
Is the LHSAA “finished” as some are saying? Where does the LHSAA go next?
My answer to that is simple: It's on to releasing its football playoff pairings Sunday, starting at 11 a.m. And then to its classification meeting Wednesday.
For once, this is not my attempt at being a wiseacre. While I defend the rights of those who have expressed their opinions, including some in the media, there are some things we do not yet know.
The list includes:
- Does this arbitration set a precedent? Or is it an exception made in one case? The notion behind arbitration was to provide an avenue for cases that perhaps went beyond the norm. Will there be another case like it?
- Will LHSAA principals and the executive committee take what happened as a signal and propose changes to some of its eligibility rules?
- What will happen with the pending litigation that involves the Robison family, the LHSAA and individuals at Vandebilt Catholic, the school where Robison previously played?
Here is what we do know: There was a sunrise the day after the arbitration ruling. And we had football games on Friday night, including the one Andrew Robison played in.
I do get the thought process here. If there is a ruling or a rule someone doesn’t like, go get a lawyer. One thing some folks are forgetting is this — the LHSAA is an organization that schools voluntarily join. When a school joins, the understanding is that you agree to play within the rules. And there are avenues to appeal and change rules. Like it or not, there is a system in place.
Like our education systems, the LHSAA looks quite different than it did when I started covering it in 1991. Change is the one thing that is constant in our society and with plenty of entities in it, like the LHSAA.
We all know the select/nonselect split is the biggest change the LHSAA has seen since it was formed in 1920. Some love it and others hate it. The LHSAA, including split championships in football, basketball, baseball and softball, is still here.
The Andrew Robison case is not the first controversial case the LHSAA has taken on and I doubt it will be the last. Life is seldom easy for governing bodies and decisions made are always questioned. It is part of the job.
Is the sky falling for high school sports and the LHSAA or is the sky still the limit? Probably depends on who you ask. And there might be different answers next week or next month.